The Fellowship

Everyday, we wake up to war.

We battle. We retreat. We slog. We scream. We may not even be aware of it, for it is largely invisible. Mortals, we are accustomed to eyes and ears and hands and feet, so we friviously rate our days by how many tasks we accomplish, how many meals we make, how many loads of laundry we do.

But that is like reading poetry and seeing only words.

There is more.

Our days are filled with battles unseen. The fight to create when it's easier to watch TV. The wrestle to listen when we want to speak. The struggle to forgive. The assault on joy. The unrelenting battle to love well.

We each have our own arena, our own mission, and no one can lift our sword for us, no one can fight our fights.

But they can battle alongside us.

Sometimes, we forge our own band of brothers. Family, maybe. A circle of college friends. A group from church.

And sometimes, it is forged by forces bigger than we.

"That is the purpose for which you are called hither. Called, I say, though I have not called you to me, strangers from distant lands. You have come and are here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of the world."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Sometimes, there is given a fellowship.

Companions for the journey.

And of course, not all is grim. There is laughter.

There are inside jokes.

There is adventure and the unexpected.

There is personality.

There is freedom.

There is love.

And if you're especially blessed, there is sangria.

This is a bond that runs deep, one not of human origin. A promise to stay, to weep, to rejoice, to pray.

This is a vow to fight side by side, to raise swords and shields around the wounded, to shout with the holy roar of Eowyn, "I am no man!"

There is forged a fellowship.

And so the burdens are lighter, the joys richer.

The war rages on. But we are not alone.

"You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway: there it is. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. We know a good deal about the ring. We are horribly afraid – but we are coming with you; or following you like hounds."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
All photos courtesy Kelly Sauer and Jen Johnson Photography


  1. Never-ever-ever alone. Ever. This was lumpity-throat sweet and beautiful. I'm taking it into the weekend with me and I'm going to ponder and love on it in my free moments.

  2. Beautiful. The writing of it, second, but the living it, first.


    1. This made me smile wildly, Robin. You are such an inspiration to me. (Did you know that?) I love what you write and the way you live and your joyous authenticity. So to have you say you get this? It made my heart swell.

  3. The Fellowship. Of the ...? We must discuss this. :-)

  4. How am I so blessed to have had a weekend, prayer time, your face and our voices? So honored. No words. xo

  5. Brilliant! We-were GIVEN. So true.
    Love. ~CA

  6. These photos seriously make me cry. The beauty captured in those photos is truly unexplainable - you are all so beautiful, inside and out.


    1. Your comment made me look at the photos with a fresh eye, Kacia, and you're right - they are something special, aren't they? There is great beauty in a woman who knows who she is and Whose she is.

  7. I love you wildly, Kelly G. You are my people.

  8. Love this. I am the coordinator of a large MOPS group in Houston at Houston's First Baptist Church. Would you mind if I read this to them? I promise to give you credit. Thank you for writing such beautiful posts. They are truly lovely.

  9. Oh Kelly I love this (and the LOTR references). It's hard when you feel you've lost your fellowship and you wage that war alone. So much better to not travel alone.